Sovereign wealth fund rankings – money is not everything

The main local headline here today was “Temasek’s assets surge to a record on recovery in stock markets“. It triggered the usual debate on how much is attributed to new money and FX translation gains etc which I don’t want to get into. The thing which piqued me a little was the mention that Temasek was ranked #11 in the world ranking of sovereign wealth funds (SWF) by portfolio size. When I looked at the entire table, it is noticeable the world’s “powerful” nations e.g. US, Germany and France – aren’t anywhere on the top 20.



So clearly, money isn’t everything. In fact, money can be a bane because these rich nations are stashing their wealth in the bonds issued by these “poor but powerful nations” i.e. USD and EUR, or in assets denominated in their currencies.

Power is not measured by money. Can the money power of American Inc. and European Union continue to be wielded by their banks, their MNCs, their people? Can their non-monetary power – well, let’s be explicit, their military power, continue to hold without the money power?

It’s a dull day in the markets with 4th of July holiday in the US. The first article I read with great interest this morning was the one called “The spy who bored me” and now by the end of the same day, I’m staring at a list of rich nations that this presumed spy has been hopping around trying to seek asylum.